Do you need managed services?
That really depends on your particular network environment and size of your company. In some cases managed services are a waste of money. You are basically paying for something on a monthly basis when things are up and running well. Shelling out money for nothing in a lot of ways. When your network is properly designed and implemented you can get the same protection per say that a managed services provider would provide.
Just as an example; if there is a hardware failure say on your server or desktop the managed services is not going to save you from being down. Managed services does not prevent hardware failures. Therefore your MSP will have to send out a tech to investigate and fix the problem anyway aka break/fix. But yet you paid a monthly fee all that month before the hardware failure happened. And had to have a tech come out and fix the problem. That’s basically a break/fix service. You did not benefit much at all from the managed services in this example.
Take security for example. Having a good firewall in place, a good anti-virus in place, keeping the operating system updated and other common good security practices implemented within your network, there is no need for MSP monitoring. I myself can come to your place of business say once a month and check all of these things on a regular basis. And there wouldn’t be any monthly fee involved and you would be up to par with security and updates. Just keeping your users off of malicious websites can do wonders for security purposes alone. There is ways to even keep your users off of those sites. So a managed service in this example even would really be a waste of money.
There are no guarantees that something is not going break with or without managed services. Especially hardware failures. No MSP is going to be able to save you from being down when it comes to hardware failures. I can implement a fail over solution that can prevent the down time such as what is called clustering. This is where you have two or more servers setup as one in layman terms. If one of the servers experiences a hardware failure the standby server takes over preventing downtime.
Just as anything else in this world it can be a little bit of an expense to setup your network properly and with fail over design within it. But in the long run it can pay off with less tech support calls and no monthly managed services fees. A lot of small businesses don’t have the IT budget that it takes to implement a fail over solution or high end servers that provide this kind of convenience. But for the basics of networking such as security and stability is reachable without a managed services provider.
Providing you implement the proper best practices, software and equipment you can be assured that your network is up to par as it would be with using a managed services provider service agreement. But as you can see with the hardware failure example, your managed service provider will be providing a break/fix service. Send out a tech to fix the problem.
That’s “break/fix” service. The same service I can provide without the monthly fees. There is also software that can be installed on your network that will alert me of any problems. Sure it comes with an expense to purchase it and there are good freebies out there. But it can be a benefit. But then again, you will know if something breaks and can pick up the phone and call me. The monitoring software is not going to stop it from breaking such as hardware failure it’s just going to alert me. But it does monitor things such as memory, hard drive space etc. Sure those type of things can be prevented being monitored. But then again, I visit your place of business on a regular basis these things can be checked before they run out of space for example. That’s what’s called network administration.
So as you can see with the right design, hardware & software, along with best practices you can achieve a secure stable network without the use of managed services. Particularly for smaller companies it’s a waste of money. And it’s not going to prevent you from being down with a hardware failure scenario.
The same with remote services. I can remote into your network just as any managed service provider can. But I don’t charge you a monthly fee to have that in place. As a matter of fact I charge half the hourly rate for remote service. So there is another example that you would be paying a monthly fee for that is something I can do the same for no monthly fee.
I have a customer that when they first hired me were having problems every day. One thing after another on a daily and weekly basis. I convinced the CEO that changes and some upgrades were needed to be implemented in their network. It took several weeks to get things up to par and once it was completed my phone stopped ringing from this company. There’s been times couple months have gone by and haven’t gotten a support call from them. They aren’t using managed services. So it kind of proves that it’s really not a benefit to have managed services fees.
Besides being educated I have been doing IT support for 20+ years for Small, Medium and Enterprise network environments. With or without managed services there will always be something that generates tech support calls. It’s just a matter of time. Something will break sooner or later. Technology is not perfect. If it was I wouldn’t have a job.
But the hardware failure example is a perfect example when it comes to managed services and the monthly fees that come with it. Basically they will send out a tech to tell you that it’s hardware failure. In which in reality is a “break/fix” service. The same service I provide without monthly fees.